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Monday, July 19, 2010


Has it really been over a month since I posted on my blog?  Guess  it has.  That's what the date says. 

Well, it's time to get back to my art.  I haven't been doing much art wise lately either.  I do manage to get out to the studio for a little while on some evenings.  I have been working on a project for myself, my sister and my brother.  Our mother died over 37 years ago.  I guess because of her not being around, her scrapbooks have always held a place in my heart.  She had a scrapbook from her high school years, one from her nursing school days and one after she married.  The nursing school scrapbook got mold all in it and of course, the paper is all old and fragile.

 I decided to take the pictures and some of the articles and things in the scrapbook, scan and print them to preserve them.  I am now making altered art scrapbooks for each of us.  It is a lot of fun, but since it is my first altered art book, it is also hard.  I am learning by doing one book at a time.  I have done the covers and have the backs cut out for all of them, but the inside is being done one book at a time.  My sister and I will have to choose which book we want, but my brother's book is not so fancy- more masculine for him.

The pictures that I have posted today are the covers for the books for myself and my sister.  I will have to take pics of the one that I am doing for my brother and post them soon, along with other work in process pictures.  The covers are not totally finished either, but are pretty far along.  I'm sure that I will have the urge to add more as I get closer to being finished with the books.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


You may encounter problems when switching to raw.  These are a few things that I know people have had to deal with.

You will probably be concerned feeding big chunks of meat and bone to your dog.  This is very common and easily understood.  I still sit and watch my dogs eat.  Not so much because I am afraid of something happening with the food, but just as with young children, things can happen.  A dog is meant to eat chunks of meat and bones.  They can handle swallowing huge bites of meat and bone.  If a dog tries to swallow something that is too large, it will choke it back up, chew it again a bit and try to swallow it again.  It may not go down that time either!!  So, up it comes, is chewed again a bit and swallowed again.  This is a natural process for the dog.   Should a dog get something stuck in its throat, it is good to know the Heimlich maneuver for dogs.  You need to understand that more dogs die from swallowing or choking on tennis balls, toys and the like than die from choking on raw bones food.

A dog that is a gulper can be a problem, especially at first.  You may have to try different things to teach the dog not to gulp.  The only time that it is acceptable to let a dog eat from your hand, is when that dog is a gulper and you are trying to teach it to eat a bit at a time.  Or, you can feed a LARGE hunk that the dog must learn to pull and work to eat.  Usually a gulper gets over this problem and learns to enjoy it’s food.

A dog that has never been protective of it’s food may become so, especially over a bone.  This is natural and as long as it’s not too big of a problem, just watch your dogs when they are eating and be there if one tries to steal the others food.  A raw bone is worth fighting over, when kibble has never been seen that way!!

Some dogs, though rare, can’t eat certain proteins.  If your dog has trouble when a new food is introduced, it may show up in the ’runs’.  Give the dog a while (a couple of days) to adjust to the new protein, but if the problem continues, discontinue the new protein and go to another.  You may find that the dog will be ok with that protein at another time, or it may never tolerate it.  Fat can always be looked at as a culprit in digestion problems, so if your dog has problems and has had a fatty meal, cut back on the fat.  If you are just starting out and using chicken, you may want to skin the chicken at first.  It just depends on the dog.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feeding Raw Meat, Bones and Organs

There are numerous diets of feeding raw.  I am discussing feeding only raw meat, raw bones and raw organs.  Your dog has no need for raw fruit or raw vegetables.  I feed what is known as the prey model diet.  However, since I do not feed the whole carcass, it is also known as Franken prey.  I feed a modified version of what a dog would eat in the wild.

To start feeding raw meat to your pet, there are a few things that you must know. 

You feed the raw according to the dogs weight.  The amount of food should be 2-3% of weight.  After you have fed raw for a while, you may have to adjust the amount of food, either way, depending on your dog.  If you have a very active dog, you may need to feed more.  Likewise, if your dog is nothing but a lap dog, you may need to feed less.  I have 3 dogs.  One weighs around 35, one 45 and one will top 50 if I let him.  I feed the little dog a pound and a half and the other two dogs get only a pound.  The little dog stays too skinny, so I am feeding him more fat now, but the other two maintain a good weight at one pound of meat and bones.

You may feed once a day, or even twice a day, whatever you and your dog are comfortable with.    Or, if you are comfortable with it, you can feed as much as your dog will eat, then let him go a day or two without eating.  This is true raw feeding as the dog would eat in the wild.  I’m not comfortable with that, so I feed once a day.

This is going to sound complicated, but don’t worry as this gets easy.  You need to feed 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ with 5% of the organ being liver.  However, you do not have to ration everything out.  A dog does not need bone every day.  It doesn’t need organ every day.  What you want to do is to average out over a period of time.  One day you might feed just meat.  The next day, there may be meat with too much bone, but over the two days, it averaged out.  You will be aiming at balance over time.  You never want to make a meal of just organs, especially, just liver.  This will give your dog runny stools, so go easy on the liver and work it in with the meal.  Remember that RAW bones are easy for your dog to eat and digest.  You never want to feed cooked bones.

It is good to vary the meats that you give to your dog.  Start with chicken, as it is the most easily digested protein.  A whole chicken is ideal, as the meat to bone ratio is fairly close with the whole chicken.  A large dog will dog do great with a whole chicken.  A medium dog will do good with a chicken thigh and leg.  The bone ratio in a chicken quarter is too high, but some where along the way, pitch the dog a solid meat meal and your are fine.  A chicken breast is a good ratio.

Your dog may have trouble adjusting to the raw food, but this won’t take long.  A dog who has been fed kibble for a while, will have to adjust it’s system to the new food.  Bones will be the hardest and may come back up occasionally.  A bone that comes back up and is in a yellowish saliva looking fluid is normal for the newly raw fed dog.  The yellow stuff is bile and the body is producing more bile to help to digest the bone.  At some point, the body decides that it cannot digest the bone and will get rid of it.  Do not let this worry you.  It is normal.  Even now, my dogs will rarely throw up a small bit of bone.  If you feed totally prey model and your dog eats deer hooves, they will always come back up!!

After 3 or 4 weeks of chicken, you can switch to a different protein.  Pork is good.  It’s cheap!  It can be pretty fatty, so if your dog has weight problems, you might have to watch the fat.  For a skinny dog, go for the fat.  Just add good ole solid meat along the way.  Stay with the pork for a while, then you can go to beef, buffalo, elk, deer, whatever you want.

There are certain bones that you should either avoid, or pick up after the dog has chewed the meat off of.  Weight bearing bones (leg bones) are hard and could cause a tooth to break or a slab fracture.  I dogive my dogs leg bones from a deer.  They chew the hide off, chew on the joint a bit, then I pick it up and get rid of it.  Knuckle bones are also not good.  Most dogs truly love ribs and the marrow in them is really good for the dog.  A rib meal will be fine once in a while, but be sure and give solid meat the next day.  Or, you could add a bit of liver with the ribs.

Bones, of course, are the source for calcium and phosphorus.  Calcium is constipating. You will see that a boney meal will cause the stool to turn white.  A white stool is fine once in a while, but a dog should not have white stools all the time.  If your dog has been constipated for a couple of days, give it some liver and cut back on the bone in the meal.

Organs are necessary for their vitamin and mineral content.  Liver, kidney, gizzards, heart, lung, are all organs.  However, the heart and gizzards are seen as a muscle and should be given as a meat meal.  Tongue is a muscle, as is cheek meat.  Sweetbreads are organs.   A whole head can be given and the dog will get the eyes and the brain, which are very good for them.  They get certain vitamins and minerals from certain parts of the animal.    Be sure and give the liver more than the other organs.  Some dogs will not eat chicken livers, but love beef livers.  It seems that some dogs don’t like the texture of certain meats and organs. 

The hide of animals is fine for the dog and good for them to chew on as long as it has not been processed in any way.  The hair from the hide will cleanse the dog’s digestive system from parasites and clean out the digestive tract.  If your dog eats a lot of hair, it will pass a lot of undigested hair.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What’s Really in Crap in a Bag?

Kibble was introduced about 100 years ago.  Before that, we fed our dogs mostly scraps from our meals and they scavenged what they could.  They lived good, healthy lives.  I remember feeding my dog scraps, as I am sure that many people do.  That was the way things were done.  Then along came kibble.  Why?

You would like to think that kibble was invented for the benefit of the dog.  Unfortunately, this is not true.  Kibble came about because there was waste from the processing of our meat.  Meat that was deemed ’unfit’ for human consumption was being thrown away and this was seen as unnecessary.  There needed to be a way to use this waste product. 

Rendering plants are the dark side of the meat processing industry.  If you have ever been by one, you know the smell is indescribable.   This is a quote from an article describing the rendering process:
RENDERING PLANT SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -- The rendering plant floor is piled high with "raw product". Thousands of dead dogs and cats; heads and hooves from cattle, sheep, pigs and horses; whole skunks; rats and raccoons -- all waiting to be processed. In the 90 degree heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as millions of maggots swarm over the carcasses.

Two bandanna-masked men begin operating Bobcat mini-dozers, loading the "raw" into a ten-foot deep stainless steel pit. They are undocumented workers from Mexico doing a dirty job. A giant auger-grinder at the bottom of the pit begins to turn. Popping bones and squeezing flesh are sounds from a nightmare you will never forget.

The dead dogs and cats that litter the floor could have come from the vet who had the unpleasant job of putting the pet to sleep.  Along with the pet’s body, the pet’s flea collar could be still on it.  The chemicals  (aka poisons) from the flea collar, along with the plastic and metal will be ground right along with the dead animal that was killed because it was perhaps sick and dying from cancer.  On top of that, the Phenobarbital that was used to kill the animal is still in the body.  Thousands of animals are euthanized daily and put into the meat processing industry.

The meat that is unfit for human consumption can mean anything from cattle hooves, chicken beaks, or it can mean diseased meat.  Cancerous meat that should always be disposed of, is ground right along with the other.  Grease from hot dog stands, restaurants and side show food stands are added along to give people a way to dispose of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of rancid and over heated grease that is used in making our food.  These are just a few examples of the meat product that goes into kibble. 

The grain and grain by-products that go into the kibble aren’t as disgusting as the meat products, but they are just as bad for your pet.  Only the cheapest grain goes into the kibble.  The grain may be moldy or it may have melamine in it and will kill loved pets as it did a few years ago.  By the way, the producers of the kibble that killed so many pets, over 3000, was known to be tainted with melamine and the owners of the company knew it!  If that’s not enough reason to avoid kibble, I don’t know what is.  The grains that are used in manufacturing kibble are the lowest of the low and contain little nutrition for the pet, if the carnivore could digest it.

The meat by products, the grain and any other trash that can be put into kibble are then cooked at high temperatures, killing any and all nutrition and enzymes that might have still been there.  The food must be deemed nutritive, so vitamins and minerals must be added.  Again, not the good, top quality vitamins and minerals that your want your pet to have, but the cheap ones from the cheapest source possible. 

The food must be palatable to your pet, so now it is sprayed with rancid grease  to make it smell good to the dog or cat. 

The crap in a bag is then packaged and sent to warehouses where it may sit in 100 degree temperature on an oak pallet that has been treated with preservatives to keep the bugs out.  It has been proven that this chemical can be absorbed into cardboard and plastic packaging.  Tylenol had to pull some of its product off of the market because it was tainted.  The tainted product was from sitting on pallets that were poisoned.

Thousands of dollars are spent on advertising to get you to buy this ‘wonderful’ food to give to your dog that you love so much and would do anything for, but they never tell you the background of where the so-called food comes from.

                                                              Even my dogs like junk food!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dog or Cow

I'm getting away from my art and flowers for a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.  Raw feeding.

I have been raw feeding my dogs  between 3 and 4 years now.  I started feeding raw after dogs started dying from eating manufactured dog food, known as kibble.  I had tried cooking food for the dogs, but that just didn't seem to be the answer.  Looking for a better way to feed my dogs, I stumbled on a website that talked about feeding raw meat, bones and organs.  I was interested and at that point I began a journey that has led me to discover many things about the health of my dogs.  This is the first part of that journey.

Why raw food?

Are dogs carnivores or omnivores?  For years, the dog has been understood to be an omnivore.  After all, the dog eats fruits, nuts, vegetables and even grass.  Does this make your dog an omnivore though?  No, your dog is a carnivore.  If you go by strictly classification, the dog is classified as Canis lupus familiaris.  The dog was reclassified from omnivore to carnivore by the Smithsonian Institute after DNA testing was done and proved that the dog is only removed from the wolf by .2%.  The gray wolf (Canis lupis) is the dogs closest relative.  

Some people don’t want to go by classification alone, so then we should look at the dogs anatomy, particularly the head and the digestive system.

The domestic dog does not have the same shape of skull nor the same amount of teeth as the wolf, but it does have the same type of teeth.  The dogs teeth are made for ripping and tearing meat and hide from the bone of a carcass.  The front teeth are used for pulling the teeth from the bone and the back teeth are used to scissor the meat from the bone.  The teeth are the main indicator of what an animal should eat.  An omnivore, such as a bear, has teeth for eating fruits and nuts and meat.  Carnivores have teeth for eating meat and your dog is a carnivore.

A dog has a powerful jaw and neck muscles for pulling down prey and for eating that prey animal.  The jaws open wide for grabbing the prey and for swallowing the large pieces of food that it pulls from the carcass.  The skull is heavy and made to prevent lateral movement of the  lower jaw.  The inability to move the jaw sideways prevents the sideways movement and allows ONLY up and down movement. 

The rest of the body is also designed to be a carnivore.  The eyes are placed on the front of the dogs head, not on the side as in prey animals.  The dog has the necessary senses designed to find it’s prey, such as hearing and smell.  The dog has the cunning to find the least opponent and the ability to work with another to take down it’s prey.

Internally, the dog is also designed for a raw diet.  The dog has an elastic stomach designed to stretch for large quantities of meat, bones, organs and hide.  It has a simple stomach, short foregut, and a short, smooth, unsacculated colon.  Simply put, this allows food the pass through the digestive tract quickly. 

Animals require enzymes to digest their food.  There are many, many enzymes needed to digest food.  Humans and other animals have digestive enzymes in their saliva to start the long process of digesting vegetables and plants.  Amylase, one of the enzymes needed to start digestion of the carbs and starches  is not present in the dogs saliva.  Cooking food at high temperatures, which is required for kibble, destroys the naturally occurring enzymes in raw food.  All of these enzymes are required and if the enzymes are not in the food, or the dogs saliva, then the pancreas must produce these enzymes.  Over a period of time, the pancreas having to produce too many enzymes,  the pancreas wears out.    There is also no friendly bacteria in the dogs system to break down cellulose and starch, so most nutrients in kibble are not available to the dog.  After all the years of dogs eating kibble and manufactured dog food, they still have not evolved to be able to handle the cooked diet.

Many people worry about a dog ingesting bacteria that is present in raw foods.  This is not a problem to the dog because the dog produces an enzyme called lysozyme that destroys bacteria.  The dogs stomach is also highly acidic which gives bacteria little chance to live.  A dogs stomach has a ph of 1!!

The dog has been changed by man in many ways.  We have everything from tiny Chihuahuas to huge Great Danes.  Man has taken white dogs and made them spotted and the spotted, black.  We have dogs whose skulls have been changed to meet what their owners view as pretty, such as the English Bull Dog.  German Shepherds have been changed to make their stance different.  But, modern man and his manufactured food have  not changed the dogs teeth, jaws, skull nor his digestive system.

Good Links for Raw Feeding Info

Monday, May 10, 2010

                                              Rustique Art     

Sometimes you talk to someone for just a minute and immediately know that you like them.  The same thing can happen on forums, blogs and the like.  I met Cindi when she posted a comment on my blog.  I immediately knew that I liked her and wanted to feature her on my blog.

Cindi loves to garden, sew, embroider and cross stitch, which she has been doing since she was a child.  She just recently taught herself to crochet and is loving the new found hand work.  Blogging, photography, reading and crossword puzzles are also things that she enjoys.

A North Texas resident virtually all of her life, she is mother to 5 and grandmother to 9.  Add to that her husband of 25 years and 2 dogs and she is a busy person!! 

Cindi's love of Christ is obvious in her Etsy shop.  Her shop is full of lovely handmade crosses and the Christian symbol, known as ichthus.  She belongs to 2 Etsy groups, CAST (Christian Artists Street Team) and Team CAC (Christian Artists & Crafters).  Please check out her Etsy shops:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One flower, two flowers

A different take on Dr. Seuss's 'One Fish, Two Fish'.....

One flower:

Two flowers:

Red flower:

Blue flower:

Look, this one has a little star!

My, what a lot of flowers there are!!

You cannot beat the wild flowers in Texas in the spring!!  This has been a GREAT year for them.  I have taken pictures every where I have gone.  I just love them!

The bluebonnets here on the ranch have just been gorgeous!  My camera does not do them justice!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

lovin' the spring flowers

I've been waiting for the bluebonnets to bloom for a couple of weeks now.   They are finally blooming!  They still have a ways to go before they are in full bloom, but they are still very pretty.  Roy and I went for a walk with the dogs yesterday.  There is a place where the bluebonnets were fairly thick and Lucy was standing in them.  When I tried to take a picture of her, she moved.  I still wanted the picture, so I took one of her posed.  In the mean time, Larry was in the back ground, sitting and staying, just like I was telling Lucy to do!  He's such a good dog!!
Lucy sitting pretty

Larry looking pretty in the bluebonnets

I took a few more pictures of the wild flowers today and yesterday.  These are some of my favorite wild flowers.
purple verbena


evening primrose

This week I will be posting the work of some fellow Etsy shop owners.  Please check back often and see who I have featured for the week.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yellow Flowers of Spring

Whew, it's been too long since I posted on my blog!

The flowers of spring are finally really coming out and beginning to bloom.  I love this time of year!!!  The dogs and I go walking and they run around checking out all the smells and things they like to do and I look around and take pictures of the flowers.

The agarita has been blooming for a while now.  When the agarita is in full bloom, the air is so sweet with the scent of the flowers.  The flowers will eventually turn to berries that can be used to make jelly.  My sweet daddy loves agarita berry jelly.  The agarita is a multi-use plant.  The plant is one of the first to begin to bloom and produce pollen for the bees.  The wood and roots of the plant are a nice yellow and the roots were used by the American Indians for dye.  I don't know if the agarita is kin to holly or not, but the leaves of the plant are quite nasty and sticky.  It is evergreen and one year I decided to use it for Christmas greenery.  Big mistake!!  Too many sticky leaves on the stuff!!

The other plants are just pretty little flowers.  I know the name of all of them but one.  I thought that I knew the name of it, but found out that I didn't when I looked at my wild flower books.

The first picture is of a flowering plant that I have never seen around here before.  I am always excited when I find a flower that I have not seen before!!  This flowering plant is known as Fringed Puccoon.  Strange name!!
These little yellow flowers are small, but I really love them.  They are so pretty and perky looking.
They are called Jones Selenia.  When the flowers turn to seed, they create a little balloon like seed pod that will 'pop' when you squeeze it.

This flower is Corydalis or Scrambled Eggs.  The daisy like flower below is the one that I can't find the name of.  I have seen it many times and I know it is a common flower, just don't know what it is!

Hope that you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoy sharing them.


Monday, March 22, 2010


I have to take some time away from my art and life for a special post.  A few years ago, many dogs and cats became sick, some died, from tainted dog and cat food.  Since that time, I have become very aware of the importance of the things such as food, chemicals and vaccines that affect our beloved pets.  I check out different websites, read a lot about pet food and just spend a lot of time on the internet reading things that deal with pets.  One website that I read daily is Truth About Pet Food.  Below is an article from that website concerning something that is being done to recognize all the pets that have suffered from the love of money above all else.  It is my hope that this website will reach all the people whose pets suffered from the tainted pet food and that they will be able to memorialize those pets.  I have permission from the websites owner to repost this article.


If your Pet died or remains ill due to a pet food,
Click Here to include your Pet in Vindication

Pets Remembered by Gift
One shattered pet family, fed up with the continued snubbing of industry and government, decided enough was enough.  Every single pet that has died or remains ill because of a pet food will be remembered; why these pets became sick and/or why they died will be remembered too.
If a pet food has ever sickened or killed a Pet of yours, a friends, or a family members…I urge you to read every word on this page and share it with all.  We, every Pet Owner, have been given a powerful gift.

Five acres of land at Keystone Lake under the Oklahoma skies has been donated to all Pet Owners.  Five acres in the very center of the United States given to us; a home to focus on the very center of the problem.

Pet Food has killed and sickened countless thousands of Pets over the past years.

They all mattered to someone,
They all matter in Vindication.
  Vindication will Never Forget Them; Nor why They Died.

Yes, you read it correctly.  Five acres of land at beautiful Keystone Lake in the heart of this country has been donated to pet owners!  It is ours!  No charge, no cost. Our gift to remember the pets!

Before you learn all the details of Vindication, a moment needs to be taken to remember why...

“One of the unspoken truths of American life is how deeply people grieve over animals who live and die with them, how real the emptiness is, how profound the silence is these creatures leave in their wake.” 
From Dog Years by Mark Doty.

Losing your dog or cat because a pet food was contaminated is one of the worst experiences a pet owner can endure.  You feel guilty. You feel taken advantage of, you feel lied to.  You feel alone.  The most unbelievable levels of anger and guilt churn in your gut. 
BECAUSE OF A PET FOOD...many have held their dear friend for the last time while a lethal drug is injected into their body to end their pain and end their life.  BECAUSE OF A PET FOOD...countless others have suffered right along side their pet holding onto all hope that they recover.  Watching them die is haunting.  BECAUSE OF A PET FOOD...thousands more continue to nurse their bodies damaged by pet food day in and day out.  It is the worst emotional roller coaster ride imaginable.  The vet bills have maxed out your credit cards.  Your pet-less friends look at you like you’ve gone off the deep end, the pet food company investigation will be futile, and the FDA inspector won’t even return your call.

It is one of the loneliest feelings on the planet.

It happened six times to one family.  They have buried six pets because of pet food (2007 recall), four cats and two dogs. 

Their story of Zippy, just one story of thousands, is shared below... 

He was a stillborn baby kitten.  His human mom puffed the first tiny breath into his lungs and massaged his heart; she felt its first beat.

Zippy was not a typical cat, more of a clumsy comedian.  Seems he couldn’t make it across a carpeted floor without tumbling to the ground once or twice; a toe nail always tangled him up in carpeting.  Day in and day out, the ceiling fan startled him.  He was best friends with a Cockatiel; Zippy didn’t know birds and cats weren’t supposed to be friends.  It is a family joke that Zippy wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he was loved… so loved by his human family.

Zippy’s sister was one of the first that died; for two years, Zippy continued to search and cry for his poisoned sister.  For two years Zippy became sicker and sicker from the ravages of melamine laced pet food.  Damage was done.  His human mom felt his heart’s first beat under her fingertip massage at birth, and she felt his heart’s last beat from poisoned pet food when she was forced to euthanize his lingering body.

Thousands and thousands of pet owners have walked in these same shoes.  It changes you; forever.  

From the 2007 melamine pet food recall alone, some estimates are as high as 300,000 U.S. and Canadian pets became sick, died, or are still fighting kidney disease.  Countless thousands more pets have become sick from recalls or silent recalls of tainted pet food since.  
No laws have changed, no lawsuits have been settled, none responsible have been jailed.  No one has told us how many died or remains sick; no one tells us how many continue to become sick and/or die from new recalls.  Today, with numerous silent recalls (pet foods being removed from store shelves without an official public recall) we barely even know the partial truth of pet food risks.  Many pet foods continue to import inferior ingredients, continue to violate Federal Food Safety Laws, continue killing and sickening pets.  Pet Owners have written letters to Congress, begged pet loving Celebrities, pleaded with Federal Officials for change.  Time and time again we've been ignored.

One pet family decided enough was enough.

If the FDA, Congress, and irresponsible Pet Food Companies wanted to continue to turn a blind eye to the cold truth that hundreds of thousands of pets have become sick and/or died and continue to become sick and die because of a pet food, this family was going to make sure not one pet would ever be forgotten; nor why they died.  
These compassionate and generous people understood that we needed to be unified on solid ground.  They understood that no one has ever counted the dead and sick pets; the powerful want this information to be kept silent.  As well, they understood that the numbers – the massive numbers of pets that pet food has destroyed – should be known to all.  Each singular pet death or illness destroyed a family, yet each singular pet death or illness was dismissed by those responsible.  Individually these crushed families were/are powerless to protect further pets.  Vindication will gather the names, the thousands and thousands of pets sickened or killed by a pet food.  Then, the serious reality will be undeniable to all concerned.  Because of Vindication, the power will be given to the Pets.
Vindication:  to liberate, to set free, to protect from attack and encroachment, defend.
If your Pet died or remains ill due to a pet food, Click Here to include your Pet in Vindication

Vindication is ours.  As you read this Vindication is being sculpted by the donors into flowering gardens with handmade stones lining the cascading pathways.  Careful selections of flowers are being chosen; flowers will bloom both day and night.  At the very front of our land will be 16 handmade stones circled into the pathw ay beginning.  These 16 stones signify the 16 “official” pets that died at Menu Foods testing laboratory long before the deadliest recall in world history was announced. 

From the Remembered 16 Circle will be pathways that cascade over our land.  Each stone lining each pathway will be handmade and personalized with the name of a pet killed or sickened by pet food.  Each innocent victim will be remembered.  Thousands of pets – each with their own personalized pathway stone will be honored here. 


Together, these pets will speak loud and strong.
An undeniable statement to all.

The land, the plants, the benches, the handmade personalized pathway stones are our gift.  There is no charge to any pet owner, everything is our gift.  It needs to be noted, that the donors are no Hollywood Celebrity nor are they independently wealthy.  They are an average family that has been shattered by pet food.  They recognized that we all have been crushed time and time again; no lawsuit settlement, no punishment for ChemNutra, no FDA safety regulations.  This gift has been given to us because the donors wanted all of the innocent pets to be remembered, they wanted no one to forget why these pets died or became ill, and they wanted pet owners to have something that can never be taken away.  Solid Ground.  Vindication.

Merlins.JPGIn June, we will celebrate the opening of Vindication.   

Now just imagine…A beautiful June day at Keystone Lake, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  You are surrounded by pet owners – you know…other compassionate, loving people that don’t mind if you have a few stray dog or cat hairs on your clothing (the best kind of people).  You are wandering down pathways in the midst of beautiful trees and flowers covering gently rolling hills.  As you are walking down the paths, you are reading the names of pets that have died because of a pet food.  You’ll see Zippy’s stone (from the story above), you’ll see my dog Sam’s stone (the dog responsible for my work at, and you’ll see thousands and thousands more, all personalized with a pet’s name.  Then, as you are walking along these extremely emotional paths, you look down and there is your pet’s name.  His/Her personalized pathway stone; telling the world they will never be forgotten.  It will stop you in your tracks.

Smudge.JPGYou bet, it’s gonna make you cry; it will take your breath for a moment and might even take you to your knees.  There it is…your pet’s handmade pathway stone.  He/She is here…with you; he/she will be forever honored and recognized that this life should never have been taken so recklessly. 

As you gaze at your pet’s name through teary eyes, the owner of the pet on the stone next to you kneels down with you and you are no longer alone.  Someone, that moments ago was a stranger, comforts you; they understand - they have walked in your shoes.  Perhaps you cry together, share a special memory of this honored furry friend.  When you look up at all the winding paths, you’ll see others remembering their furry friends.  You are no longer alone; these pets are no longer alone.

Thousands of pathway stones –
Each with the name of a pet that has died or remains ill because of a pet food.
The thousands of Pets remembered in Vindication will become proof change is necessary.
By remembering each and every one of them, they will have a voice.

If your Pet died or remains ill due to a pet food, Click Here to include your Pet in Vindication

 After we explore Vindication, we will gather to celebrate these wonderful pets (more details on this to come).  We’ll share stories of our lost loves on our gift of solid ground.  Our hearts will hurt remembering them but we’ll know that now…because of this gift to us…because we now have solid ground to stand on…the pets have a voice that will not be ignored.  We have Vindication.

Our goal…to prevent more names to be added to Vindication.
No more poisoned pet food.

This will be our beginning. 
The First and Only Solid Ground on the Planet dedicated to Pets And Pet Owners
That have suffered at the hand of Pet Food
June 12, 2010
Keystone Lake, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Grand Opening.  Be there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

flora and fauna

We have a little bird that is always around here.  It is so pretty and I just love to see it.  It is hard to get  very good pictures of it, it is so quick.  The bird is a vermilion flycatcher.  I had never seen one until we moved to Ft. McKavett.  The day that I took these pictures, it was real windy.  The little bird was trying to fly into the wind and was getting absolutely nowhere!  He finally changed directions and flew to rest in a tree.  My pictures of it are not very good, but I wanted to share them anyway.  The pictures were taken with the zoom all the way up on my camera and I lose a lot of clarity when I do that, but otherwise, I wouldn't have gotten the picture at all.
Here he is flying into the wind and getting no where, which is why I was able to get a picture of him!!  He's the small red colored spot in the middle of the picture!  If you click on the picture, it should enlarge so that you can at least see the color of him.

And, here he is sitting in the tree.  He is in the left of the picture.

My son, Donny brought his two kids, Jacqueline and Wyatt and their friend, Taylor out for spring break.  They camped in what we call the 'park'.  It is an area that we cleared of mesquite and prickly pear.  We have a couple of swings there.  We hope to someday build a tree house, but the grandkids are getting so big now, that it seems kinda late to do that now.  Here I am relaxing in the hammock while the kids are getting their campsite ready.
                                           white anemone
                                                     purple anemone            
                                           lichens on a fence post
The kids had a good time camping.   We cooked hamburgers at lunch and fajitas for dinner.  Taylor figured out on her own how to cook fajita meat over an open flame.  They were able to camp for a couple of nights, then the rain brought it to a halt.  They slept one night with a light rain, but then got a small leak in one of the tents. We decided that since it was supposed to rain harder the next night, that they should sleep here at the house.  They learned a lot and it was a good experience for all involved!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crosses for collectors

Here are two crosses that I have done from old dishes.  I have a friend who has an antique shop and she would save the broken and chipped dishes for me that she would get along with the good pieces.   I love using the damaged pieces as it gives new life to pieces that would other wise be thrown away. 

Franciscan Apple Cross
This cross was made from the Franciscan Apple pattern.  It is a small cross.  It measures 3" x 8".  I cut the cross piece  which was the edge of small plate with my ring saw.  Some of the other pieces were cut with the ring saw.  Others were just nipped.  The pieces were glued on a wooden base.  The piece was then grouted and the base was painted a brown that matches the brown on the tesserae.  The grout and the painted base  were then sealed.

Blue Onion Cross
The Blue Onion cross is made from small plates with a Blue Onion pattern.  I don't think that these plates were vintage Blue Onion, but were newer dishes.  The cross measures 7" x 3 3/4".  The base is wooden.  The tesserae was all nipped and glued onto the wooden base.  The piece was then grouted and the base was painted a dark blue to match the blue on the tesserae.  The grout and the blue paint were both sealed.  

Both of these crosses can be purchased at my shop, Jack Rabbit Flats on Etsy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Yesterday and today have been really pretty days.  The weather has been so pretty that I actually wanted to take the dogs for a walk.  On Monday the dogs were so excited and were running a ways in front of me.  So far ahead of me that they weren't really walking with me but the cows were.

There's Smudge, Double L, 8-ball, Pretty Girl and Patches.

 The donkeys were following along too.  Sissy is in front and Millie is behind.

The dogs finally caught up with me.

Lucy is the slowest of the dogs and is bringing up the rear.  Larry is next and Abe is in front.  Abe is a fast little stink and will run forever.  Yesterday they scared up a jackrabbit and chased that rabbit forever!  The rabbit finally darted through an algerita bush and escaped.

The grass is beginning to turn green and little flowers are beginning to appear.  I can't wait for the bluebonnets to start blooming.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Dream a Little Dream

I belong to a wonderful Etsy group, PieceMakers Mosaic Artists.  We are scattered all over the US, but are fast friends.  I haven't belonged to the group but a few months, but felt  at home there right away.  It has been nice to be able to visit with other artists, as I have missed that since we moved out here to Ft. McKavett.

Every 2 months the group has a challenge.  One person comes up with a theme and we make a piece of art that represents that theme.  This time it was 'Dream a Little Dream'.  For 2 months that song has been running around in my brain!!  I finally decided on a dream of mine, an English cottage garden.  I love gardens that are sprinkled with this and that and have that overgrown look.

I will never be able to have such a garden.  Living in the country in west Texas makes it hard to have a garden, period!!   I plant something that I just love, such as 'lambs ears' and find out the next morning that jackrabbits love it as much as I do!!  Or, the deer come through.  They like to just taste things, pulling many of my just planted flowers out of the ground.  One time a deer walked through my vegetable garden and pulled up an onion here and there.  It tasted a few tomatoes, green ones and ripe ones, only to spit them out.  Oh, I was SO mad!  Then there is the alkaline soil problem.  Alkaline soil produces light green or yellow leaves and stunted growth.  Roses don't like alkaline soil at all!!  Work as I may, I have still not corrected the soil enough to plant and grow a pretty rose.  If it's not the soil, or animals, there is Mother Nature.  She really likes to play games out here.  It's either hot and dry, or too wet, or hail, or a late freeze.  You name, she can do it out here!

But, the main reason that I will never have an English cottage garden is the fact that snakes also like pretty, shady gardens.  Roy has a terrible fear that I will be working in my over grown garden and get bitten by a snake.  I have two friends who live out from the city that have been bitten by rattlesnakes while working in their gardens.  It  could happen to me.  To satisfy him, I keep my garden neat, or at least I try, and keep it cut back so that there are not so many bushes for snakes to hide in.

My mosaic piece was made from many porcelain boxes, pretty plates, old jewelry and beads.  I have a 'ring' saw that I can cut out pieces for my mosaics and I love using it!  When the pieces were all cut, I glued them on a board.  Not thinking ahead, I glued a lot of the roses on.  Then, in a panic, I wondered how I was going to grout around all those roses and flowers.  That is when I thought of using beads as fillers.  I love the effect, but it was difficult using the beads and getting some of them in just the right places.  When I had finished the piece, I painted ivy around the edge of the board.  I used mirrored tile to look like a little pond.  The path is made from quartz that I find here on the ranch.  I had to soak it in water, then pound it with a hammer to get it to break into all the little pieces, but it made a nice pathway.

The challenge pieces can be voted on and who ever wins gets a small prize and the great feeling of having won an art show!  You can go vote at

                                          work in process (wip) pictures
                                          Some of the pieces that I cut up

My ring saw and some of the things that I cut up.        

The process of gluing on the flowers.                         

The messy stage.                                                       

The finished project.                                                  

A close up showing the ivy border.                             

One last close up.                                                        
For a real treat, be sure and go to the PieceMakers blog and vote for your favorite project.  There are some beautiful works there.